Beware glint in Watson's eye, McGinley warns Europe

Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:06pm EDT
 
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By Tony Jimenez

GLENEAGLES Scotland (Reuters) - Paul McGinley rates his Ryder Cup team as one of the strongest assembled by Europe but he will be mindful this week of the special influence rival captain Tom Watson can exert on his United States side.

Holders Europe are considered the favorites to win the 40th edition of the biennial team event especially as they boast four of the top six players in the world rankings and have won seven of the last nine Ryder Cups.

McGinley, however, sounded a cautionary note to his 12 players.

"We are confident. We have assembled a great team, arguably the strongest European team ever, but there is a word of warning as well," the Irishman said on Monday.

"If you know Tom Watson, that glint never leaves his eye, he's a real competitive guy. This is a strong American team and it's not to be underestimated how strong they're going to be and we've got a real challenge ahead of us.

"If you take their average world-ranking position, theirs is 16 and ours is 18 so this is not a weak American team," McGinley told a joint news conference as the countdown began to the matches that start with Friday morning's four fourball encounters.

"As strong as we are they're very strong as well and that's what makes the Ryder Cup so great and unique."

For his part, Watson said the trip to the Home of Golf represented an opportunity for the Americans to banish the memory of their capitulation two years ago.   Continued...

 
Europe Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley smiles as he sits with the Ryder Cup during a news conference ahead of the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland September 22, 2014.  REUTERS/Phil Noble